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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  August 4, 2010 2:00am-6:00am EDT

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the context in which they were issued, it was a totally different context, environment. some of those tax cuts made time under the current set of circumstances they simply may not create any new economic activity. that is my point about another winning those cut individually and see if they make sense, allowing them, in the context of where we are today -- >> i have one more question that i want to fit in before my time is up. we have heard time and again consumer spending is weak because they do not spend their additional income. you have said the same thing. is this not a result of cheap money over the last decade or we have achieved a negative savings rate and the average american is already struggling?
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how can we expect consumer spending to increase when debt levels are so high? >> that is partly why some of the remedies we are talking about news with helping consumers reduce those debt levels in a responsible way. >> are you talking about forgiving their debt? >> in some cases, if you are in deep difficulty, there will be a forgiveness or default. >> those are the 18%? >> and in addition the ones that are foreclosed on. the choice we face is whether to let that process continue at the pace it has gone and have the housing market continued to suffer, for a weekend truce
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policies -- or we can choose policies where the cost is shared between the lender and taxpayer, in a responsible way. obviously, if we were to choose to rewind the tape, and choose to do things differently, but given where we are -- >> i wish we could rewind the tape. >> we all do. we do not have a good set of choices to pick from. >> i agree with you, the federal reserve policy led us here, and we are set to repeat this because we have the same structure. >> i understand. my complaint to chairman bernanke is the has attend nature in which the federal reserve has -- hesitant nature
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in which the federal reserve has approached this. his balance sheet is now $2.80 trillion. i have a hard time getting my head around that. what he does is he buys treasuries to sustain the treasury market. that is how he fills up his balance sheet. it is dangerous policy, thank you. >> thank you. i have been very liberal today with everybody -- senator bunning, i did not treat you any different. we appreciate very much your discipline, senator goodman. so i am going to treat everyone the same way, too. you will be able to go over a couple of minutes. senator begich.
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>> i leaned over and told him you could extra point because you left time on the clock. first of all, welcome. i represent the state of alaska, have been in the small business world since 16. my wife owns and operates four small businesses. we build these businesses from scratch, so we understand what real life is about. it is great to hear this theory and discussion, but we have experienced it in good times and bad times. let me give you some context, so you understand where my question is driving to. we seem to have a short-term memory on the date -- 1980 recession. if you were a small business person, you wanted money from the market, you would have to pay 19. on prime. you talk about seizing of capital.
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businesses were not anxious to get it because the rates were short term. -- inska, and the 1980's, saw about half a dozen banks close at hand thousands of people leave in a short amount of time. we have seen what can happen. anchorage's assessed value for the city has essentially been cut in half. this recession, we did not lose any money. no banks failed, the highest unemployment in two decades. now three months have gone by and we have come down 0.6%,
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going in the right direction. we have had housing prices moving up 14%, which is positive. still, new starts are low. we learned something from the 1980 crash. diversification, focus on job growth, and quick stimulation to get money into the economy, but look long term. here is my question. do any of you agree with the statement that the first thing we need to have is certain to inour debt, tax policy, spending? does anyone disagree with that? ok, let's is approval. the second question -- silence his approval. the second question, do any of you agree that the combination of your idea, short-term and long-term, is what is necessary,
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does anyone disagree with that? ok, now for your response. i also heard, correct me if i am wrong, different levels of what those tax cuts should be or should not be. i did not hear anyone say all of them. i heard variations. instead of having a special interest debate over who will get which tax cuts, one not just reform the system? tax reform is dramatic. it seems like that sends a message to the business world, we are protecting the middle class, and that would bring confidence back to the consumer.
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the biggest number i'm interested in is unemployment, but otherwise, consumer confidence. give me your first thought on the bill. there is another bill which caps credit unions on how much they can use for small business loans. this would raise it to 25% without putting any federal dollars into it. does anyone want to comment on that tax policy? >> it would widely enhance the tax code. it would take away a lot of the special preferences that are built into the tax code. all those things, an economist with tell you, are good things. >> i think it is 24%, if i
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remember right. that gives a competitive edge -- one of the questions that you asked was, our ability to compete worldwide. >> that would more or less level the playing field with other countries. it would broaden the tax base, which is important when you think about how we want to do with our fiscal problems, going forward. by taking away some of those preferences, it will hurt some people, but would broaden the tax base, give us a more stable system. moreover, if you think about how we got to where we are, in housing, for example, it was not just easy credit that was a contributor, but tax policy had a role to play in it as well. we have endorsed that in the past as a society. maybe it is time to rethink that
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so that we can we balance our economy and have more resources or things like education, product enhancement. clearly, we do not need more housing. >> this is true, inventories are high. >> as we think about the role that tax policy can play in that, i commend you in advancing that argument in the congress, your leadership for doing so. >> i must admit, i have not studied this bill but i will be doing so this afternoon. as i said before, now is a moment of protection -- now is not a moment of protectionism. i would hope that we have versions on the table -- have on
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the table versions of the value added tax. we need to look at all things including the mortgage tax. carbon pricing has to be on the agenda. looking of 20 years, if that is your budget thinking, you can decide what to do with that revenue to reduce other parts of your taxation, but this is an important part of energy. we should be including all of these proposals into a 20-year thaksin plan --taxing plan horizon. >> i agree with a lot that he said. we are a small business down.
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this is not a tax system that anyone would want to create from day one. the problem we face, and the issue of what you do about taxes, the simple fact is we start with the current system. if you start with the current system, you have to move from that system in evaluating any changes that you make. in any system, there are always winners and losers. that is what creates the havoc in any tax policy making progress -- process. i do not think it is a good thing to simply say, we can keep all of 2001, 2003 so that we do not get into a discussion. there will be lots of taxes that
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will have little or no impact on the economy. in the context of the budget deficit, it would simply be a loss of revenue. so by restructuring in, you get a way from these crazy debates that are going on. >> thank you. i appreciate the comments. i am growing into this camp, we are spending all of our time thinking about which tax cut are right, who is in, who is out, and that is not going to change the confidence of the consumer. it seems to me, it is time to rejigger it and allow the community to think that we have done something long-term hearing that will affect them, as well to the business community, so
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that we can monitor their spending habits. >> i just want to thank the senator from alaska for his insightful and substantive questions. >> thank you, chairman. >> senator nelson? >> you all testified that you do not think the tax cut in the stimulus bill did not have much of an effect. tell us what you think the spending did? >> i am not sure i completely agree with the blinder-zandi total there. i look at it in the context of,
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the strategy they took, if we did not have it, what with the economy look like? clearly, the other alternative is if you took the same amount of money and spend in in different ways. you would also have a different outcome. since we had that set of policies, it is hard to disagree there was not a significant impact. nothing close to what we hoped, the kinds of money that would be spent, and a lot of that money is still being spent -- and that need to be kept in mind. some of the concepts in terms of infrastructure spending makes sense. most of us would agree, if government is going to spend money, you want to provide long- term returns to the economy. nothing does that better than
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infrastructure, but there are other things that would simply transition the economy from 2018 to where we are now, but i think you have to say that it had a moderate affect and kept us out of a segment of the longer and deeper recession. -- significantly longer and deeper recession. >> you get a different bank for the block from different type of spending. unfortunately, all lot of the spending was done in haste, in an effort to help the economy, help state and local governments who were hit with the shock of the downturn. pummelling not as productive as it could have been. i agree with the infrastructure spending peace. we need a program of infrastructure repair that goes beyond short-term stimulus. providing aid to stale local
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governments -- state and local governments was a good thing and possibly avoided some job cuts, but there are other things need to think about in determining fiscal stimulus. >> senator, i testified to the committee in the run-up to the stimulus, and i said at the time i am not a proponent of discretionary stimulus. the discussion was, something was needed to bolster confidence in the economy. as i look at what was discussed, the money was spread around in different ways. the amount of money was actually pretty small, but i think it was a pretty good mix. it was a very unusual problem. delay, we never see it again. i worry that we will, that we will have to fix the financial
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sector and will have to throw money at the problem to keep it from getting worse. it gets worse in the long term. >> mr. chairman, do you remember when we tried to get more infrastructure? >> yes, sir. we tried to get $200 billion. >> these two esteemed and gentlemen, chairman, ranking member on the deficit reduction commission, which i hope and pray will be successful. since they have a threshold that they need to get 14 votes 0f 18 on the commission, there is
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skepticism that they will be able to get that on whatever package they come up with. so if that skepticism bears out to be true, which i hope does not, i am prepared to gvote yes on their package, but i have not even seen it yet. and u.s. -- as you have testified, we need to do something about the deficit. but if it fails, what happens? what do we do? >> senator, i am not sure we have room for failure. as we have talked about, ultimately, global investors who hold 55% of debt held by public are going to register their vote
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in financial markets, and they will see a our inability to do with long-term fiscal problems, will look at our lack of credibility on our willingness to deal with those problems, and that will raise the cost of borrowing, not only for the federal government long-term, but also for governments and businesses here. moreover, that services will take resources increasingly on of our economy that we could use for other productive means. that is the long-term cost of not addressing our fiscal problems. >> and creates uncertainty and a lack of confidence in the u.s. possibility to manage its financial affairs. >> toquote the imf, the greek general debt was 133% of gdp.
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the u.s. is closer to 90%. this is the answer to what if it does not work. you have some time, but not very much. obviously, on net debt terms, it is not that bad, but you know what can happen with trajectory. we do not want to be forced, like the greeks or spanish, to do things in a precipitous manner. that is bad for small business and everybody. dougan while we still have time. >> if you want to know what this will look like, look at most of the states. they have hit that point. they are scrambling in exactly the way that you have commented, trying to deal with these expenses that they have been overwhelmed with. to some extent, i know that some
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of you have talked about this, it may mean more changes to long-term benefits, social security, and so on, things that we have put into the cut in programs. we should not have to wait to -- until a crisis to do with them. when we reach that point, there will have to be significant cuts that will need to be implemented. >> speaking of states, we are going to be voting on something today or tomorrow, states have not been providing revenue in order to fund their share of medicaid, as well as education. of course, they come to us in times like this, and want us to
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bailout those accounts. of course, the more we do that at the federal level, the more we add to the national debt. it is a vicious cycle. >> this is worse, in that it is creating the incentive not to do with the problem. that is something you do not want to do. >> thank you. senator sanders? >> thank you. this has been a great discussion. i want to inject an aspect of the discussion that i have not heard yet. we keep talking about the economy in general, but when we talk about this, the reality of life is somewhat different for example, during the bush years, median family income for the average american went down $100.
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7 million people lost their health insurance. 8 million people dropped of the middle class and went into poverty. so while the middle class is shrinking in party is increasing, and in this general abstract world, not everyone has an equal chance. and during the bush top earningon , the families earned quite a bit more than the rest. does anyone in their right mind think we can have an equitable tax reform in washington, when we are bombarded with lobbyists and all of these loopholes? it is not going to happen.
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big corporations have enormous influence over the sorts of things. they will get more of their friends here to represent. that is the real world. sorry to bring some reality here. we all that knowledge the economy is in terrible shape. we all the knowledge the national debt. but i hope we could hear some discussion that as we move forward, one should working- class people who have already experienced pain be asked to experience more pain? should we really raise the social security age for those people? should we be cutting back on food stamps when you have millions of families struggling to provide for their kids?
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let me suggest to you as someone who believes the deficit is a serious problem, we have also got to create jobs the economy needs. the american society of civil engineers tells us we have the $2.20 trillion need for investment in infrastructure in the next five years alone. i am a former mayor. infrastructure does not get done unless you invest in it. why are we not doing more of this? on the other hand, i understand you cannot just spend. but let me give you some situations that i think we can address. about $100 billion a year -- the chairman of this committee has made this point many times -- part avoided in taxes by large corporations and the wealthy by going to tax havens in the
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cayman islands. a little bit crowded, hard to do their work with 18 valves and corporations in one building. >> it was five stories. >> oh, then it is no problem. something like $100 billion in lost taxes, why we not talking about this seriously? in 2005, one in four companies paid no taxes at all. this year, exxon mobil had a bad year, only $19 billion in profits. they did not pay many taxes and they've received a tax refund of $156 million. shouldn't we be focusing on creating jobs in
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infrastructure, stopping the absurdity of importing $350 billion of imported oil, move to energy independence, and at the same time, go forward with deficit-reduction, in a fair way that does not unjustly affect middle-class families? dr. johnson? >> yes, of course, we can put more money into infrastructure. it is not that easy, given the way the spending is set up. it is an acceptable proposition. but in terms of tax reform, what is intriguing about the bell you add it tax, it is coming from people from the right and left. depending on how progressive or regressive your system is, what exactly you are taxing, it is a relatively hard tax to avoid. it focuses on consumption, rather than income, which has a
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sensible affects. i am somewhat encouraged, if people at the technical level are thinking hard about those proposals -- obviously, the political decision is another story. i do think in all of the issues you raise, the one thing we must not avoid is medicare. if you look out 20, 30 years, that is an issue. do we based it on my time earnings? >> medicare is part of our health-care system, and we end up spending about twice as much per capita compared to any other country, and outcomes are not as good. it is not just a question of medicare. it is during our healthcare system to providing quality
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care. >> i am sure you are right, the whole health care system needs to be addressed, but if you put all of the european union health spending projections together, their numbers are just as bad as powers in terms of containing future health care spending. all systems across the industrialized world have similar problems, demographics, and aging population, and increasing use of technology. to what extent you give people access to those technologies? >> this is the reality, people are getting older, health care is getting more expensive. but in the midst of all of this, the point on the making, we have a lot of problems. some of my friends will conclude that the way you solve these problems is by punishing lower class, middle class people. i think when you have a society
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that is moving, in many ways, toward an oligarchy -- >> [inaudible] >> some of them are in the room. we talk about oligarchies with the top 1% owning 90% of the would referis what i w to as an older kid. -- oligarchy. we have a huge crisis, we have to do with it. i would to just, everything being equal, unless we can rally the american people, it will be dealt with by making the poorest people poorer, see the middle- class decline further, and see the wealth gap grow even bigger. >> i think we can do better. it is clear, this has been
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happening for a long time. the source of the problem has to do with educational opportunities and other factors. it is clear that federal policy, policies on other levels of government can do things to do with that, but some of it involves allocating the court -- resources away from some areas, more broadly, to health care, so you can get better outcomes and lower cost, and you would have more resources left over for education and infrastructure investment, both of which will provide jobs and human capital. that is the kind of economy we want in the future. what is required is your leadership. >> thank you. dr. naroff? >> i do not disagree with you,
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in the least. when people would say to me, x percent of the top income are percent of taxes, and isn't that a sign that things are unfair? you have to know how it is distributed, the reasons for the change. that is an important factor. but the reality of where we are now is we no longer have any wiggle room. 10 years ago, if the deficit went up a couple hundred billion dollars, it was not going to create major, long-term crises, as far as the economy is concerned. we do not have that luxury right now. what that tells me is, getting help of this slow-growth environment, moving to pay low
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level budget deficit, it is going to require some groups to pay more. it is the politician that decide which groups pay more. in the current set of circumstances, who are the people that are not spending? part of the problem -- what i find most interesting -- i did lots of talk to business people, other groups. i asked them how many believe the recession is going on and most of them raise their hand. most of them are middle, upper middle-class business people who feel that way. they do not see the benefits of this. consequently, they are not spending. so something that provides them
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with the impression, reality, that the economy is moving in their direction, to the extent it improved confidence, will improved spending. >> thank you. >> thank you for your excellent questioning. i would like to go to the panel with a separate question. that is how we got into this mess. i have my own view and i am going to try it out on each of you, and i would like your reaction. it strikes me, we had a series of bubbles formed. we had an energy bauble, commodity bauble, we all know happen with housing. on commodities, wheat went to more than $20 a bushel.
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that is evidence of bubbles forming in lots of different places in the economy. how did we get so many forming simultaneously? it seems to me we had overly- loose fiscal policy, responsibility of the congress and president, massive budget deficits in the good times. on the monetary policy side you have an overly-loose monetary policy after 9/11. we had an unusually low interest rates for an extended period of time and expansion of the money supply. on top of it all, a policy of deregulation, so nobody was watching, and forcing the -- enforcing the laws that did
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exist, and in some cases, they were insufficient, like in the case of a.i.g. so when you have these conditions at the same time -- pretty unusual in economic history. you usually have one or the other. provides the seed for bubbles to form. ultimately, they burst and there was enormous economic wreckage. i would like to hear your view of the economic history. >> you are pretty much on target, senator conrad, starting with the regulation piece of tit. we had inappropriate regulation in the financial services market. we now recognize that. what we failed to understand was that the more we wanted our
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markets to be open and free and to allow for failures, since the failure in tinges on the financial system, leverage, that requires less leverage. into some capital, liquidity requirements, underwriting standards, the rest. as i was listening to utah, i thought to myself, the dimension of monetary policy was to lose in the regulatory front which allow the credit bubble to form excessive growth in credit. the legacy of the bubble is still with us. unless we write-off that debt against the value of real estate and other things that have gone down, we will be stuck in a slow-growth economy. the misallocation of resources
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is part of that legacy. >> when you talk about the misallocation of resources, what my understand that to mean is too much money in housing. >> that is right. on the macro sense, and also, the incentives that were built into the tax code that encourage that. i would point to the 1987 tax which change the treatment of capital gains in housing. >> very generous treatment. >> now there are no capital gains, so we may not have to worry about that. but the matter of fact is it was a stance in policy. that is why it is so appealing to think about using this moment not only to fix our long-term fiscal future to make its
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sustainable, but to address some of the things in the tax code, through tax reform, that would take away those incentives. senator gregg alluded to energy policy earlier. i think that is an important policy -- aspect of what we are talking about here. for years, the idea was we should have higher prices for energy, higher prices that reflected what they were in the rest of the world, so we subsidized relative to other economies with energy. as a result, we import a lot of our energy and that has added to our imbalance, dependence on overseas sources of energy. we have the power to correct that report. policy, energy policy, the tax treatment of energy is something that we can deal with. if some people pay more, we have to deal with that, but that is
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an important ingredient in thinking about where we go to the productive uses of those resources. >> i also agree with the broad outlines, but i would to just put in in in a longer framework, talking about the repeated cycles that the bank of england now calls doom loops. prices, expansion in 1982. another emerging crisis in 1990. then a crisis based on u.s. housing. all the specific pieces have pushed us to a bubble in housing, and i would agree with that, but this is not a housing-specific problem. monetary policy and fiscal policy is involved in this. this will probably -- policy should probably be pushing hard in the other way, but monetary policy gets pulled into the
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cycle. you have this crash and then you try to reflate the economy with low interest rates. unfortunately, regulation over a 30-year period as the cycles continue it, actually deteriorated and in some key countries, particularly in europe. the franc legislation pushes us back some distance, but not far enough. in my assessment, these others will not deliver much in the wake of substantial change. -- the franc regulation helps some. it will not be housing, or banks in some way or other, that probably global. there will be big capital flows. the fiscal policy should be leaning the other way and preparing for the worst. it is very hard even to agree,
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and even if we imagine a smooth-sailing future, we cannot even figure out what to do for the 15-year horizon. >> and a sister, but not sufficient condition for the bulls out there -- it is a start. you had to have a lot to create them. it was not limited to just tax policy or legislation. look at the technology bubble. it was largely private-sector. it was massive amounts of private sector capital that got misallocated. what concerns me is the structure and functioning of the financial system whereby almost anything can be securitized, and almost anyone can invest in anything. while capital flows to the
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greatest return, it tends to flow into the greatest short- term return in given period of time, rather than the greatest long-term return. the implication we have gotten from the bubble that has formed here is that capital is flowing not in the long term direction. we're looking for the shortest term gain. it is the idea that universities can invest in energy futures as part of their endowments as a way to make money. is this really a long-term investments that makes a lot of sense for a university? but they do it because there is a rate of return they can take advantage of. while you can talk about all the things you have, i'm not sure that you get around it unless you deal with the way the financial sector itself allows
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capital flow. and i'm not sure how you do that without interfering with a lot of the good parts of the relatively free flow of capital out there. >> can i answer that? >> you may disagree. >> i do not disagree, because obviously there is a balance. creating more leverage creates activity, and feels great while it is happening, but there is a bounce. there is no handbook with the exact number for balance, but in financial institutions, and a corporate level of capital to mitigate risk and enable people to earn returns -- that is where we can find a balance. in the financial system as a whole we can find a balance. does it make sense to choose housing again as an example, to lend money as we did? obviously not. if you look to the north, to the
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canadian financial system. you can see they have a requirement for no one gets a mortgage loan with less than 20% down. well that amount is arbitrary, it is sensible. common sense tells you where the regulations ought to be without being too precise about them. and to limit the amount of leverage. no leverage is not good because it stifles growth. too much leverage has left us with problems we have now. while i did not come from new hampshire, i did grow up in new england. >> i grew up in north dakota and was raised by my grandparents. my grandfather said if you cannot put 20% down on the house, you have no business buying it. >> there you go. >> that was my amendment in committee and it lost. i wish you had been there,
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doctor. dr. johnson, on a couple of occasions you have mentioned medicare as being a key measure on our long-term issues. i think you have dealt with the issue of technology and the expense of the last six months of life, for lack of a better term. do you have any specific proposals in the medicare area that could be useful to the financial condition, that work, incorporated in the original bill, the healthcare bill? >> no, unfortunately. i have spent time talking to leading health policy experts. i will share the names with your staff. there are obviously some indications, both within the va system and within the private sector of health organizations that have managed to get a grip
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on costs without severely compromising quality of care. these experiments have proved hard to replicate. we do not understand how some have been so successful in cost control, and not able to replicate that in other cities. it is a very tough problem. arenot saying that there easy solutions year. i wish that i had a magic bullet for you, but i do not. >> senator, there is a report from cms that outlined the potential savings of medicare that might come from some changes already proposed. but it seems to me as important as medicare is, i would point to the bigger problem of medicaid. it is an example of how the federal system is really broken.
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the states always come for assistance to the federal government during a downturn. so that system does not have permanence, does not have stability over the longer term. if you think about medicaid as a program, that one needs desperate attention. more broadly, if you look -- simon and i are both on the advisory panel to the cbo. if you look in their options book you'll see one big option that stands out. i'm sure you know it. that is the tax treatment of health care benefits. if we address that tax treatment in the broader context of our tax system and looking at health care, as difficult as i know that is, that will be something that both helps the deaths of problem and change as incentives
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for healthcare. >> you are talking to the choir on a point. i appreciate your time. >> thank you, doctors. we very much appreciate the time and effort you have extended, and the assistance you have provided this committee and this senate. we stand adjourned. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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>> young america foundation is committed to insuring that young americans are inspired by freedom, national defense and free enterprise and traditional values. the conservative movement is accomplished through conferences internships and the national journalism center. we provide speakers across the country. we also work to save the reagan ranch in california. follow us on twitter at yas. the next speaker is one of
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conservatism's great speakers. newt gingrich is the well known architect of the 1994 contract with america, which led to the vick torl victory of that year and the first republican house majority in 40 years. during his tenure as speaker, from 1995 to 1999, speaker good evening. rich led the way for welfare reform and passing the first balanced budget in a generation and the passing of first tax cuts in 16 years. during a time when the white house lacked the leadership to guide the country, gingrich was said to be the country's indice pensionible leader. since retiring in 19u9, speaker good evening. rich continues to serve in various here positions to help with the conservative message. he's part of quality long-term care to help a health care system for ah americans through the market economy. he serves in various
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organizations for a strong national defense, including the defense national policy board, the terrorism task force for the council on foreign relations. he's a distinguished scholar. in addition to his best selling books, including to save america which is available for signing after this outside in the lobby, he's written other numerous titles, including reel change the fight for america's future. rediscovering god in america. also winning the future, 2021st century contract with america. he's also the chairman of the gingrich group and the general chairman of winning the future. additionally, he's a fellow at the hoofer institute at stanford university, the honorary chairman of the nano business alliance. he's an analysts and contributor. please welcome speaker newt gingrich. [applause]
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>> well thank you very much for allowing me to be here and i want to thank young america's foundation for giving us this opportunity to get together. i thought i would talk a little bit about what is at stake this fall and about how to go back to your campuses and try to be effective in -- in winning the argument. recognizing that there are basically some people on many of -- let me ask you, how many of you have some professors who you think are impervious to fact? okay. want to get a feel for how much had not changed. i want to start, i think all of
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you have been given, i want to talk about four movies that you may use on your campus, my wife and i will sign books afterward, that made several documentaries. i want to start with something that came out of a movie which you have gotten which is a hallmark of my talk. that is two plus two equals four. this is from american solutions. anybody that wants can get more at american solutions.com. i know two plus two equals four is bold. it is out on the edge. one of my principles is when you go around a neighborhood politically, if you hold this sign up and you could do this on your campus, you run into a professor that doesn't get this, i wouldn't spend a lot of energy on them. they're hard-core obama people and won't understand it. i think two plus two equals four is very important. we got to it because we were making a series of movies, and
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we had made one of the films i recommend to all of you is, ronald reagan rendezvous with destiny. we have a section in the movie where we show you jimmy carder -- carter in the 1979, 1980. we had -- carter was in many ways a lot like obama in that things just didn't seem to work. we ended up with 13% inflation, 22% interest rates, rising unemployment. at -- and they decide canned they much like obama they were big on redistribution. so they wanted to redistribute pain. when they had a gasoline shortage, instead of allowing the market to work and send a price signal to increase the supply of gasoline, they decided they would protect all of us by rationing gasoline. you could only buy it every other day, base odds -- based on the last number of your license
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plate. you're too young to remember this. this is really true. i didn't make this up. so, here americans waiting in line having to fill their car up every day because you couldn't fill it up the next day. you had to make sure you weren't going to run out of gasoline. david bossy the head of citizen's united who made the movies with us, told us he was 13 that year. he remembered it because every morning his father would give him a screwdriver and send him out back to change the licenses on twot cars so that the car that needed gasoline had the right number. and -- it occurred to me after that that you could test the following theory. if your -- if you hear there's a government rule so dumb that we're teaching 13 year olds how to get around it and you're a conservative, you would say we should drop the rule. if you heard exactly the same story and you were a liberal, you would say what we need is license plate police.
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this is one of the largest cities and the time. it will follow 1200 muller's during the pregnancy until the age of three to identify a prenatal and postnatal exposures that may be linked t
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the of looking at a wide range of environmental exposures. this study is falling more than 1600 children from three groups, john with autism, chosen with other delays, and normally developing the most striking findings point to a need for further exploration. the study found no difference in mercury levels between to show with autism and normally developing children. i am happy to report that the american recovery and investment
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act to increase his support for autism research. funding is being used to study air pollution, compounds, and disrupting chemicals, smoking, medication, and infection. it is an important part of our overall investigation. a total more than $29 million last year. development of the nervous system begins in the womb and extends the rothschild to it. during periods of rapid development, the brain is vulnerable. events could have major consequences for a brain structure and function. we call this windows as the
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sensibility in which different chemicals can affect the brain in different ways. the amount of lead that is toxic to an infant is much less than the amount the would be toxic for an adult. infantine in this case is a window susceptibility. -- infancy in this case is a window of sensibility. metals are not the only toxic agents to effect iq, learning, and member. it said it published last year shows a mother's exposure to agent survey's from burning fossil fuels and tobacco can adversely affect the child's iq. in another report, columbia university examined prenatal
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exposure to it, and flame retardant. they were analyzed for selected. the same children were examined for narrow development at ages 1 t hrough 6. these children who hire blood concentration of flame retardants scored lower on tests of mental and physical development. in addition, the same chemicals can affect behavior. early lead exposure has been shown in levels from toddlers to adolescents. these are risk factors, possibly accounting for 1/3 of the cases in children. a recent study found that increased concentration in the mother is steering pregnancy were associated with aggression
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and a depression in the children. pesticides are being investigated in relation to adh d. harbor has to face a report showing an association to -- environmental influences on brain development, behavior, and other neurological outcomes of public health concern are a rapidly growing area of environmental health sciences and the high priority. we believe our research would advance our understanding of these conditions, including autism. thank you for the an opportunity to testify. i'll be happy to answer questions for de >> i wish i'd put myself in the shoes of a parade of mom for someone -- i was just trying to put myself in the shoes of someone with a baby or a pregnant mom.
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i thought your comment at the end was something we all believe that chemicals to affect children's development in their brain. i wanted to narrow in on this ought is an issue. you mention two things specifically with that. one of the studies had shown a difference in the mercury levels of children with autism, right? >> that is correct. >> the other thing you mentioned is the difference in the immune system. did you want to elaborate on that? >> i think i can give you the bottom line. it appears the immune systems of the children may be altered. they may be showing more symptoms that may develop into auto and unity. -- autoimminuty.
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autoin unimmunity is rapidly increasing. >> is that the one difference that has been found? >> i think the point is that there is growing suggestion that environmental factors may be playing a role in the increase. in parts of the syndrome for the office's inspection disorders may involve an alteration in the immune system. >> you are saying that there is a difference with the auto immune system. it can be interested to environmental factors and that could lead to believe that the firm into fighters could have something to do -- could lead us to believe a good have sending
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to do with it. >> and 81 parts of the optimism puzzle. the role of environmental factors in the increase in autism is in large part because you cannot -- our genes cannot change over a generation. the rapid increase in autism, which iwas studied at the cdc. one in 70 boys is developing autism. >> i take you both believe there has been an increase. you both believe there has been an increase. >> it is coming out of the uc davis group. it clearly shows that of the san california, only 30% of the increased incidence can be due to diagnosis. >> in addition to the study
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, there is an additional said the worldwide that shows it cannot be it to the tent -- at treated to changes in diagnosis alone. when you are exposed, and it can be the difference in your action because of the level and the stage of development you are an. one person may be exposed to the same levels as another. that is not the entirety. that is something that is a very
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important area for research. the other is the often get into the discussion about is this environment or genetics. it is not one or the other. a genetics and do our genetic not changes quickly to explain the increase. it is likely in interaction of the environment and the genetics of sensibility, where certain to lose -- where certain triggers are released. >> thank you very much, both of these for your clarity. i remember many years ago meeting parents who had children with autism. then they are being told it is the way they were raising the
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children, that there is something wrong with the mother/of relationship. i saw the look on parents' faces. they were devastated. that is where the science was. we have clearly moved to a different place now. we are looking at the jeans -- genes. there is an important message to parents out there. do not give up hope. the fact we are always been a $9 million on autism, something that affects one out of 110 children, it is just amazing to me. it goes to where our priorities are. i want to ask director birnb aum you can lay out for me, how much did you get to facilitate your research? if he did tell me what that is
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exactly? -- if you could tell me what that is exactly? >> week at $10.4 billion -- we got some $0.4 billion. -- $104.4 billion. the funding we committed of our fund is about $9 million. $11.5 million, excuse me. $4.9 million of that stimulus funding. >> i am confused. how much of the economic recovery act funds that went to nih is being dedicated to autism research? >> specifically of the one and $90 million, about $5 million. >> $5 million in addition to
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the $9 million? >> that is part of the $9 million. in 2009, it was $4.3 million. >> the base funding is about $4 million. you double the amount. without the funding, we go back to $4 million. is that right? >> it is hard to say exactly. we do see autism as a priority. we are trying to increase our mamount of funding. >> i hope you will let us know. if you feel we can do a lot more, it will have a little more funding here. it is clear to me that there are -- we are coming along. we are narrowing down.
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m.a.cthere may be set to build a surge in toxins. -- susceptibility to certain toxins. making sure the chemicals are safe before they are introduced. he was having a fairly clear path here to where we are going. arab the covers my questions. thank you. >> thank you both of you for focusing in on this issue. alibi to put my opening statement in the record in in go directly to questions if that is acceptable. >> i will put it in the record. >> one of the things that i would like to ask about and i would like to cite a few
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facts. in an april report, it state "children today are surrounded by thousands of a synthetic chemical. 200 of them are neurotoxic in adult humans. when thousand more in laboratory models. if you would then 20% of high- volume chemicals have been tested for nearer developmental toxicity. according to the epa, there are 3000 chemicals that are classified as high production volume. these are chemicals that the u.s. imports produces at the rate of 1 million pounds per year. 40% have not been tested for basic toxicity. -- tosses a daytoxicity." do you think it shows the need for chemical makers to provide
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reformation about their products? part of that question yesterday was an article in boxes of cereal which kids are eating. kellogg's recalled shows that u.s. risks many chemicals. there is a chemical in there. when the things highlighted in the story is the chemical companies do not test these kind of chemicals. if a test, they are required to turn it over to the government. they decided we do not know what is in. would you talk a little bit about that and what you think we need to do to get to the bottom of this and tried to do everything we can to protect our children? >> first of all, i am not in the regulatory agency but in a research agency.
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and may have had many years it epa, but i like to stick to research. i think the issue is that there is growing evidence that chemicals can cause effects. we've known that pharmaceuticals are drugs. do not take credit. the reason you do not take them is because they could harm the fetus as it grows. we know the chemicals can impact things. many chemicals are not tested at all. many of us to believe it'll be much better to have chemicals fully evaluated for their safety before they go on the market. the chemical but was a concern in the cereal boxes is a chemical that my city has done some limited testing on. that is the extent of the testing for that. it would be very important to have the testing done first. we have to really work out what
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we mean by testing. there is a pattern that has emerged that there are guidelines for how you do testing. the problem is that the guidelines that were established are really not up to what is needed in this century. we need to focus our efforts on using of the newest information, not things that were required 20.30 years ago. -- 20 or 30 years ago. i like to talk about the interaction between genes the environment. i think it is very clear that depending upon your genetics as well as may be what your past exposures where can alter your susceptibility. there is a paper i just saw that shows that some of the flame retardants, whether or not you see developmental toxicity, it
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depends upon the genetics of the mouse you test it in. it provides is a great deal of information about what may be possible in the human population. i will let halt of more about the regulatory agenda. -- paul talk more about the relative ind. >> taught idea of diversity. when introduced in the chemical into the world, you need to characterize the chemical. there is a wide range of analyses that are done in order to describe it said and what the chemical is. traditionally, part of that characterization has not included its impact on human health or the environment. as long as that exists, where when we are describing a chemical it does not include its impact on humans or the
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environment for developing children, and then we are going to be in the same situation. we need to have a fuller understanding. if the definition of of vocal performance" when we are talking about chemicals needs to include how it performs in terms of its role in the world to interact with humans and the environment. >> thank you both for those answers. i am sorry i have to leave. i will not be able to hear the second panel. i'm leaving you in the hands of two very capable senators. thank you very much. >> thank you. i am trying to figure out the exact amount of money and trying to match these members. you said it is $9 million on research? >> $9 million on autism research
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in fiscal year 2009. approximately that in fiscal year 2010. in our total portfolio, it is about $29 million. >> that this is what i saw in your testimony. >> it is about a third of the total. >> $29 million for research for near development so -- neuro- devlopmental. >> under the stimulus packages, nih did have an initiative and funded about $60 million of stimulus funds on autism. much of that has to do treatment and diagnosis. that is you are different. -- that is the difference.
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>> a part of a late $5 million as part of that $60 million. there are about four or five into two separate very involved in the interagency coordinating committee and in baldonado is a research. liddy and involved in research. >> that makes a difference. we have had an incident in minnesota in the somali community. they have had a very high incidence of autism. the diagnosis is one out 28 of their children that have autism. i was wondering how this possibly could fit into the research side is going on. they are searching for answers. we were talking about clusters.
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they live in a similar area. other kids that are not somalian and do not have that high of rate. >> there are some reason hypothesis that vitamin d, or the absence of vitamin d, and may be associated with a risk of autism. there are no reports of autism in somalia. it is a developing country. they may now have a diagnosis. the phenomenal cluster actually is in minnesota -- people are really suggesting that it might be related to not having enough vitamin d. that is a hypothesis that people are beginning to look at. >> i would just suggest that while this is certainly an important area of research, it
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does lend itself to something we discussed earlier, which is how the genetic informant interacts read it then one or the other. -- rather than one or the other. they are not necessarily gives a certain disorder in the absence of being exposed to certain triggers. when exposed to certain triggers, it puts in the disorders. it is an active area of research that needs to be emphasized. >> this interaction, if in fact they get more autism in the u.s., then it could be an interaction between some genetic component and some kind of
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triggering a factor, environmental factor. the beauty of the early study which is recorrecruiting 12 women that are have what is it a try. if you have one autistic tri- committee ave -- one autistic child, you have a higher likelihood of having a second. usually if you have one child, your garment does not change that much if you have a second trial. -- your environment does not change that much if the have a second child. we are looking at every kind of environmental factor that we can think of. that includes diet and stress. we are also look at the genomics of these women and their partners as well. >> i want to hone in on the one child, to tout, a 3 tel -- -- two child ,three child
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what are the chances of you have one but it taught of having a second? >> i believe you have about eight concern chance. -- about a 10% chance. when you have a genetic input, there has to be something in a distanaddition to genet it. >> do we have other neurological conditions that have been found to be caused by both and environment -- genes
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and environment? >> schizophrenia or bipolar disorders. we know that when you look at something like lead that not every child has the iq loss. you have to look at a whole population of children to see the shift. >> is the ultimate down the road here for this gene therapy? >> i think that the importance of understanding environmental triggers of disease is that you can change your environment, but at this time you cannot change your genes. >> isn't the reason we did of the funding is to eventually do gene therapy? >> that is a possibility. i think we can get to the empowerment of unpacks more
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readily. -- the environmental impacts more readily. >> i would like to add that this area of genetics that is emerging -- epi-genetics -- is an emerging area of investigation. i would describe it in its early stages. this is something that is triggering these genes to perhaps impaired the ability to express a certain gene. the early suggestions are that it would not necessarily stop with the individual but can be translated into future
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generations as well. i would never suggest that this is a concluded science. this is emerging science. >> we know in america one in every 110 kids is born with autism. what do we know of other countries? >> you need to turn on a microphone. >> i do not know the exact statistics. i do know that there appears to be the increase in autism in many countries. one of the issues that we keep getting is the differential diagnosis. are we changing our criteria are looking in a different way? in the u.s., that is not explain the increase. >> from what you know, there is a worldwide increase. >> certainly come in many developed countries.
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-- certainly in many developed countries. >> i do nothing somalia has a health care system capable of doing what we do. given what we discussed about the cluster, it might be very interesting to look at the gene situation and if that is somehow making these children in your state more vulnerable. i do know we have any data from somalia. >> we would be eager to entertain a grant or so and proposed to steady the population. it needs to be in a perspective fashion. there semitism been diagnosed in the population. you might be able to do something similar to what we are doing in philadelphia and california and maryland as far as recruiting in that population. >> the reason i think it is important, i was stunned.
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when the 28 children -- one in 28 children. that is a cluster. i think we can learn quite a bit. i need to run off to my next obligation. a one to say how much i will look forward to hearing the next panel -- i was going to say how much i will look forward to hearing the next panel. we are going to be taking action on a lot of these matters. when you mentioned sally, did you mention sally? >> yes, he did. >> we passed very tough legislation. we were able to expand in children's products. it was an enormous, a terrible fight. we got in fights about rubber duckies and how one person said these rubber duckies are fine. yes.
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but if they have halites they are not. it is very tough to regulate this one chemical at a time. that is why the work you do so very important. hopefully, you'll be able to identify for as a class of chemicals that may be problematic and give is the roadmap we need so we do not get into these arguments one particular chemical at a time. thank you very much. >> thank you. >> i want to thank our witnesses. it was enlightening. thank you for this update. i think it helps understand the funding and the status of the research and learn some new things like epi-genetics. is that right? we look forward to our next panel. thank you very much to both of
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you. we can have our next panel come up.
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welcome to our second panel. i see you are staying here. thank you. we can hear your reaction to this later as well. our first witness in the second panel has already been mentioned, the director of uc- davis disease prevention. he is an expert on how environmental factors influence neuro-development. he is the principal investigator for research examining the to and early childhood exposures to prevalent in farm until hazards. finally, electives and a warm welcome to marry. -- i like to extend a warm welcome to mary.
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easier to share her experience with living with an autistic son. is max with the today? there you are. thank you for being with us. i understand, max, that you are a whiz with maps and directions. is that right? maybe you could tell my husband. maybe i can hit you guys up. as well as your dad, thank you for being here. mary is here with their family to help us with a real face on the stories behind autism and other developmental disorders. thank you so much for coming. we will get started. >> thank you for giving me the opportunity to give testimony regarding what is some risk. as you have heard, what is in spectrum disorders in compass a wide range of what we call the vet to pick -- phinotypic
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disparities . a likely in promises several disorders with distinct ways of getting theirs. pathologies' conferred on a common set of behavioral criteria. although autism risk has strong -- no single locus alone is sufficient to account for the full clinical phenotype. uighur for many screens indicating that potential susceptibility genes are spread across an entire genome. very rare genetic mutations epi- genetic factors were shown to contribute to the complex
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transmission of what is some risk. to net it alone cannot account for the majority of autism -- to net it alone cannot account for the majority of what is in diagnosis. there is a lack of importance between twins with some estimates ranging as low as 60%. that leaves a white room for environmental triggers. -- wide room for environmental triggers. epi-genetic factors are likely to see the the the only contribute to susceptibility in variable expression of optimism. -- autism. it is likely that consolations of epi-genetic factors are contributing to the prevalent. the rise cannot be fully accounted for by changes in diagnostic criteria. there is a critical need to
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identify environmental factors, including exposures to foreign chemicals or enter the gin and sources -- anthroperginc sources. we support work on identifying genetic impairment associated with autism risk. we have learned that in that it alone cannot predict the majority but is in cases, the severity, nor can they predict the success for current treatment. we have learned that many of the molecular and cellular systems that have been associated with autism risk are the same ones that are targets of the environmental chemicals currently of concern to human health and children's health in particular because of their widespread use. current research is needed
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undefinable factors affecting to be to causing of protecting against autism. it is expected that autism is a multi factorial, meaning there are multiple factors than to retain to -- contributing to risk. it is essential to bring together boselli is -- both said they some of genes and environment. autism prevalence continues to increase dramatically, implementing autism risk. we must identify which exposures and combinations of exposures are venture between to the increased overall risk in the population.
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a subset of those have received sufficient studies. they contribute to neurological impairment identify with all idiopathic autism. there is a need to identify which chemicals in the environment influence the same biological pathways known to be affected in autism and how this contribute to susceptibility. exposures to these chemicals is the only current way to mitigate but his insistence stability. -- autism susceptibility. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for the opportunity to be here today. i wanted to focus my testimony on other nareyro elements are disorders. -- neuro developmental
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disorders. therresearch shows that the thid child are vulnerable to toxic environment. they are a major risk factors for some the most common diseases and disabilities in children today. research indicates that many diseases of industrialized societies and adults have their origins and early child to it. what happens during trout it has implications for a person's ability to our life to contribute. in contrast with many other types research, this field offers many tremendous promise and potential to prevent many of the diseases affecting america's children. one in six american children have the development of a problem from such a learning
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disability to a behavioral disorders a sadh or ad hoc system. -- disorders such as adhd or autism. it in the case said exposures to exceedingly low levels are risk factors for intellectual abilities and executive functions. executive functions are those things that distinguish more clearly from other animals. nineveh's of the sitting here today if we did not have a good executive functions. this is important. we know that there are major risk factors for behavior problems such as adhd. it can elevate a trousers for violent criminal behavior. it can diminish their ability to
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country to society. we have learned by new toxins. there are a host of new chemicals that are routinely found in pregnant women and children. this includes flame retardants, pesticides, and airborne pollutants. they are associated in early studies of behavior problems. the evidence is not as conclusive as some of the more established toxins. much of the research was from of the children's centers in collaboration with the center for disease control. i want to share a few highlights of the impairment of health center to highlight the impact available tocsin, lead, as an indicator of the extent of the seriousness of what we've always thought of as a subtle problem. we found increase in blood levels, well below the level of
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concern. and a population level, a shift in iq of a five. across the population in the united states would mean 3.5 million more children who qualifies of being mentally retarded. these are not subtle effects. he confirmed reports implicating lead exposure in the genesis of adhd. we estimated one in three cases of adhd in u.s. children could be contributed to prenatal tobacco exposure. we have confirmed that trout of lead exposure is a brisk factor for impaired brain function.
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these and other surveys suggest that a large proportion of crimes in homicides in the united states can be treated to lead toxicity. we do not tend to think of low- level chemical exposures of being of any consequence. the levels we are talking about are the same concentrations that we try to achieve with their repeated doses of anti sec can fix. we know they can have -- with low level anti psychotics. we know they can have an effect. i focused on just one toxicant. it indicates the importance of this kind of exposure that occurs. let me does end by saying we have talked a bit about the research that is increasingly important. what can not ignore the pattern of pathology we have seen with
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lead, tobacco, and so forth. we know enough to require pre- market testing for a whole host of other environmental factors. experimenting on their children is allowablno longer tenable. in the 1960's, there is a handful of people arguing that we needed better regulation. if it an epidemic for us to take action. perhaps autism is the equivalent for empowerment of chemicals. thank you. >> thank you. i am happy to be here today with a husband and my 10-year- old son max. stephen for the opportunity to speak to about the effects of autism on my family. amasses three years old, his dad
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knows within what is inspector this order. -- when max was 3 years old, he was diagnosed with an autism spectrum this order. as a preschooler, any social situation was very challenging. he became difficult to manage outside the home safely and was bothered by about in high- pitched noises, smells, and touch. his reactions to things he did not like were explosive and dangerous. his brother was born during this time. the stress of a new baby and uncontrollable three-year old was more than we could bear. we took max for a lengthy evaluation to the minneapolis public schools and medical assessment publictwo different specialty centers. this will distil-- the school dt gave him a supporter of 3.5 years. at the time misdiagnose, many
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around me were asking how max got autism. we suspended a genetic link. at the time, it did not matter. i was focus on moving for to have my son who was by now so obviously different from his peers. everything we read about treating autism said that early intervention was key. we bought books, went to conferences, and that for confrontations with over scheduled experts. we learned what method to be most effective for macs but were frustrated to find waiting list as long as six or 12 months at facilities that offer these services. i quit my teaching job. my husband cut back on his surgery practice. it became our mission to put together an appropriate treatment plan that would address his unique needs. we were to treat this plan for the next years of his life. when he began can regarding, we learned that our local communities will not have an autism program.
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although his reading and math skills were far above grade level, his poor social skills and lack of self control meant he needed more support. we had to sentence to a school outside of our community. it created even more impediment to making friends. our goal was to bring his skills to a point where he could be fully mainstream and moved to our community school by first grade. this to a lot of hard work, including doubling up on therapy. is now but at the school for three years. life is somewhat easier now but not without a struggle. we made it difficult decision to get the medication to control his impulses and stay calm. meltdowns come weekly rattigan of -- rather than daily. decisions come carefully
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planned. setting him up for success takes understanding his challenges as low as a tremendous amount of time and forsyth. what things look better now, we never know what will set max back. we hope he will continue to excel academically in go on to college and a productive and happy adult. in contrast, his 48-year-old hauaunt unemployed and dependent on your aging parents. people like her with the country did autism are an example of autism's cost to our society. i feel like i can live beyond our situation and address some of the questions of this were asking me when he was first diagnosed. there are many and answer questions that can only be entered the more research. -- on answerhadunanswered -- und
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questions that can only be answered with more research. i cannot come to a simple conclusion of cause and effect. was there is an urgent need for research on early intervention, ongoing treatment , and medical care, it is imperative that we focus resources on continued research so that we can one day identified the cause. until we have done the research necessary to understand autism, we can not leave any stone unturned our rule out any possible factors. thank you for the of attendees to share my story with you. >> thank you so much. thank you for your courage. you did a pretty good job. you liked it. you were good. thank you for the work you have done.
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the story is eerily similar to some my friend to basically gave up their jobs as well and focused on trying to figure out what was wrong and how to fix it. knowing the root cause of it would make it a lot easier in figuring out the treatment. could you just talk first about some of the impediments he had and giving the treatment. i know minnesota is the place to be when things go wrong. do you want to talk about some of the obstacles and what he thinks could be done to improve that? >> initially, there was a lot of shame. the behavior see were exhibiting more embarrassing than anything else. we got it the wakashan we would walk down the hall to the preschool teacher. -- we called it the wall of shame when we would walk down the hall to the preschool teacher. there is something discrepant
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from his peers. it is easy living in the metro area with the minneapolis public schools during early child to a screening pato get in to special education. the point is to get in with autism specialists were six months long just to get a diagnosis. we did not know it was ott house and at that time. we were looking at all of our different -- autism at the time. we will looking at all of our different options. >> when you listen to the testimony, i know you hear about some of the research that is going on. you acknowledge in may not just the one silver bullet solution between genetics and environmental factors. what is your reaction? you mentioned you thought it could have a genetic link because of your aunt. what has been your own journey in trying to follow the research? >> my journey has been very
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recent. after the have not felt that i've been able to look outside of my little world until very recently. i am not surprised. i have two sons. they both have the same and. -- aunt. there have always been questions about what it could be. i do nothing we can stop looking. >> thank you. -- do not think we can stop looking. >> thank you. we were talking earlier about the charges said the in what has been going on there. she mentioned you can help to further eliminate the preliminary findings. >> the and mean deregulation -- the immune deregulation seems to
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be standing out based on the comparisons with case control comparison groups, including those with developmental delays in the city without autism. if i had to summarize what the major impairment are in the immune system, it to probably be inflammatory -- it would probably be inflammatory behavior of the immune cells and the presence of antibodies that recognize proteins within the brain. we found these both in the children and in the mothers. we have no idea how these antibodies. what i got an a in high school chemistry but then i forgot everything. could you try to explain that in
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layman's terms? >> pro-inflammatory behavior of the immune system is essentially one hallmark of immune dysfunction. pro-inflammatory immune systems can damage both immune responses and is now known to influence near development -- neuro- development. >> it is sort of a hyper imine system? >> especially hyper responses in a particular way. >> you have this hyper- responsive in new system. >> that is a very good point. we have actually started to examine whether immune cells from children with autism respond differently to what we
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call antibiotic exposures. the to the we have examines the spar is your group. others have promoted evidence that flame retardant to interfere with the nervous system and the immune system. >> was a thing you said about the proteins in? what was that about? some have antibodies that actually can react with fetal proteins. what that means is that during
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the station, these antibodies can cross the placental barriers and have an influence the developing fetus. we do not know why mothers at risk would have it ought to antibodies. that is something we are examining now. >> in your testimony, he said that the genetic links account for the majority of oz is a case is currently being diagnosed. do you want to elaborate? >> there are some scenes - genes that have been associated with autism. if you look at the cases that have the genetic malfunctions, for each gene, it is typically less than 1%. a cumulative total, the estimate may be as high and no greater than 20%. there is a large fraction of
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autism that has not been attributed to the genetic contribution. >> i think you heard my story of the somalian kids in minnesota. maybe you have heard about this before. do you have any opinion on that? what could be going on there? >> it is certainly intriguing. >> i will give you the information. that to be helpful. uc-davis is working on a project to identify early predictors of autism whether genetics or environmental. can you be more specific in describing the aspens of this project and what the intended goals are? >> this project is recruiting women at high risk of giving birth to an autistic child. this is based on having
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inclusion criteria. the woman must have at least one autistic child, a biological child in the family. the goals of the study is to study the biology of the women involved, including taking blood samples, urine samples, labor and delivery samples, as well as following the child for the first three years after birth appe. appe.

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